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As humans have evolved, those who possess beneficial traits (e.g., are stronger or more intelligent) have been more likely to reproduce, and therefore their genes are more likely to be passed to future generations. This phenomenon is referred to as natural selection. One way to measure the impact of selection is via the parameter alpha; lower alpha implies more selection. The above figure reports estimates of alpha for 14 complex traits, obtained using Doug's new tool. We see strongest evidence for selection for height (often considered a proxy for strength) and college education (a proxy for intelligence).

2020.03.25 | Research news

Evaluating and Improving Heritability Models using Summary Statistics

BiRC member Doug Speed, in collaboration with David Balding and John Holmes (University of Melbourne), has recently developed a new tool that improves our understanding of the genetic factors underlying complex traits. Details of the tool have been published this week in the journal Nature Genetics.

2020.02.06 | Research news

Unprecedented exploration generates most comprehensive map of cancer genomes charted to date

Pan-Cancer Project discovers causes of previously unexplained cancers, pinpoints cancer-causing events and zeroes in on mechanisms of development.

Testis data

2020.01.17 | Research news

Single cell sequencing has a potential for disentangling causes of azoospermia

Azoospermia - or the absence of spermatozoa - is one of the causes of infertility, a problem faced by ~15% of couples. Azoospermic testis shows different characteristics and probably causes over different groups of patients. New single cell sequencing technologies allow the study of a tissue cell by cell, but analysis of such complex and big…

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